Rights of Way

Community Broadband Playbook

Top Takeaways

  • Your committee could help providers by engaging property owners early in the process to secure amendments to easements or new easements to allow for the installation of telecommunications equipment and infrastructure.
  • The city or county can make their rights of way available to broadband providers on a cost-level basis or free of charge so that providers can bury conduit or install poles or towers mounted with wired or wireless equipment.

The city or county can make their rights of way available to broadband providers on a cost-level basis or free of charge so that providers can bury conduit or install poles or towers mounted with wired or wireless equipment. Municipal or county staff and policymakers can also help providers acquire the necessary rights of way and permits from state or federal government agencies.

One of the biggest hurdles to deployment has been securing access to easements from property owners. Staff could help providers by engaging property owners early in the process to secure amendments to easements or new easements to allow for the installation of telecommunications equipment and infrastructure. Legal counsel representing local governments can help navigate this issue.

EXAMPLE RIGHT OF WAY POLICY: JACKSON COUNTY

County leaders, struggling to encourage deployment of internet services for their residents, took a hard look at ordinances and permitting requirements. They also considered alternative ways to utilize new technologies. The Jackson County Planning Board addressed some of these issues with new ordinances that allow for the omission of permitting fees on small towers. Smaller cellular towers provide more local wireless coverage without substantially impacting the skyline.

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